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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

 -  Drama | Music  -  10 January 2014 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 65,453 users   Metascore: 92/100
Reviews: 270 user | 490 critic | 47 from Metacritic.com

A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 56 wins & 114 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joy
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Marty Green
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Janet Fung
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Joe Flom
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Storyline

Follow a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles -- some of them of his own making. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

10 January 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Balada de un hombre común  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$405,411 (USA) (6 December 2013)

Gross:

$13,214,255 (USA) (7 March 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Llewyn Davis is a fictional character, not based on the life of Dave Van Ronk. However, the creative spark for making this movie came from Van Ronk's memoir "The Mayor of MacDougal Street". The film looks at the Greenwich Village music scene in and around the real-life clubs Gaslight Cafe and Gerde's Folk City. See more »

Goofs

The Bodoni-style logotype for Columbia Records, on the wall of the office foyer right before the "Dear Mr. Kennedy" recording session, wasn't used until 1970. See more »

Quotes

Llewyn Davis: If it was never new, and it never gets old, then it's a folk song.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits is an image declaring the film "Kosher for Passover" See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Death of Queen Jane
Traditional
Arranged by T Bone Burnett (as T-Bone Burnett) and Oscar Isaac
Performed by Oscar Isaac
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fantastic sound, atmosphere, acting.
11 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Inside Llewyn Davis is an intimate, well-executed, and honest slice of life. It features a humanistic, heartfelt performance by Oscar Isaac as the titular folk singer, arresting cinematography, and a sharp, tight-fisted script by the Coen brothers, who also directed.

It's Greenwich Village in the early sixties, when folk music was either coming into its own or ready to be usurped by a more mainstream genre. Llewyn has no home, drifting from gig to gig and crashing on couch after couch as a matter of design; is vagrancy is his life's plan. Llewyn is at turns a noble soul who exists for the sake of making the music he wants to make and a resentful twerp who mooches off friends just to sustain his unsustainable lifestyle.

The movie is only somewhat linear, with closing scenes mirroring opening scenes, and it is told entirely from Llewyn's point of view. The Coen brothers masterfully show us not only Llewyn's perspective but also an outside perspective; this allows us to feel both empathy and loathing toward him.

Llewyn is nothing if not complex. The movie does a terrific job of avoiding the usual clichés, such as a down-on-his-luck musician catching a lucky break, or a bitter man having a quick change of heart. It's not that Llewyn is constantly sneering at everyone, holding his poverty up as both a shield and a trophy, it's that he is so multilayered that when he does a kind act or offers some praise or thanks, we don't feel that his doing so is in any way out of character. Llewyn is a self-tortured soul, but unlike caricatures of wandering folkies, he is at his center a realist, albeit a prideful one.

During his travels and travails, Llewyn encounters people ranging from the genuine (his singing friends Jim and Jean, played by Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan) to the absurd (a rotund, blustery John Goodman). Oh, and a cat that travels with Llewyn - at least until he can get him or her back to the owner. The encounters with the genuine folks feel just as normal as if you or I encountered them; those with the more absurd of the lot feel perfectly surreal, and when they do end one almost wonders if we've all imagined the encounters through Llewyn himself.

The music is beautiful and moving. Isaac himself performs Llewyn's songs, with a sweet, vulnerable voice that offers a touch of soul to Llewyn's otherwise-bleak surroundings. When Llewyn is really on, you can feel his pain leap right off the screen into your brain; when he appears to be going through the motions and not singing from his heart, you can feel the lack of depth that his intended audience also feels. Isaac is just flat-out terrific.

Ultimately, it is Isaac and the music that push this film into the territory of great cinema. The story itself is stark, moody, unyielding

  • just like a New York City winter, really. And the movie, like


Llewyn's own life, appears to have no point - except to illustrate just how pointless Llewyn is making his life, through his stubborn marriage to his craft and a desire to stay uprooted


59 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is everyone assuming that the cat has a deep meaning? giorgionov-1
It was boring. Why noone admits that? zee944
The opening scene and ending scenes are NOT the same scene Filmanacci
REAL EXPLANATION OF THE FILM Smurgledorf
Why the Gorfeins so happy with Llewyn? dvician
Who was the man in the alley? poikkeus
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